On This Day

What Happened in April 1954

Historical Events

  • Apr 1 US Air Force Academy established
  • Apr 1 1st Dutch motorway, Amsterdam-Utrecht, opens
  • Apr 1 1st US Army helicopter battalion forms, Fort Bragg, NC
  • Apr 1 Earthquake/tsunami ravage Aleutians, 200 killed
  • Apr 1 WQED TV channel 13 in Pittsburgh, PA (PBS) begins broadcasting

Sports History

Apr 1 Detroit Red Wings right wing Gordie Howe scores 2 goals and an assist, and sets a Stanley Cup playoff record for fastest goal from the start of a game (:09) in a 4-3 2OT win over Toronto in Game 5 of the Semi-Finals

  • Apr 2 Plans to build Disneyland 1st announced [see Jan 26]
  • Apr 3 Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical "Me and Juliet" closes at Majestic Theater, NYC, after 358 performances
  • Apr 3 Don Perry climbs a 20' rope in under 2.8 seconds (AAU record)
  • Apr 6 Montreal Canadiens score 3 goals in 56 sec in playoff game against Det
  • Apr 6 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island
  • Apr 7 German government refuses to recognize DDR

Conference of Interest

Apr 7 US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in news conference is first to voice fear of a "domino-effect" of communism in Indo-China

  • Apr 7 WALB TV channel 10 in Albany, GA (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 8 "By the Beautiful Sea" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 270 performances
  • Apr 9 WECT TV channel 6 in Wilmington, NC (NBC/CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 9 7th Cannes Film Festival: "Gate of Hell" directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film
  • Apr 10 KRGV TV channel 5 in Weslaco, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 10 108th Grand National: Bryan Marshall wins aboard Royal Tan at 8/1; second consecutive GN victory for both Marshall and trainer Vincent O'Brien
  • Apr 10 Wales beats Scotland, 15-3 at the St. Helen's Ground, Swansea to share Five Nations Rugby Championship with France and England; France's first title

US Masters Golf

Apr 12 18th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Sam Snead wins his 3rd and final Masters by 1 stroke in an 18-hole playoff with Ben Hogan

  • Apr 12 8th NBA Championship: Min Lakers beat Syracuse Nationals, 4 games to 3
  • Apr 12 Belgian Van Houtte government resigns

Music History

Apr 12 Bill Haley and the Comets record "Rock Around Clock"

  • Apr 12 Joe Turner releases "Shake, Rattle & Roll"
  • Apr 13 Baltimore Orioles 1st game, loses to Tigers in Detroit 3-0

Sports History

Apr 13 Milwaukee Braves' Hank Aaron's 1st game

  • Apr 14 Soviet diplomat Vladimir Petrov asks for politics asylum in Canberra
  • Apr 15 KARK TV channel 4 in Little Rock, AR (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 15 Orioles 1st game in Baltimore beat White Sox 3-1
  • Apr 15 WHO TV channel 13 in Des Moines, IA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 15 Yankees dedicate a plaque to Edward Barrow
  • Apr 16 KVAL TV channel 13 in Eugene, OR (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 16 Stanley Cup Final, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI: Detroit Red Wings beat Montreal Canadiens, 2-1 in OT for a 4-3 series victory

Historic Event

Apr 18 Egyptian Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser seizes power and appoints himself Prime Minister

  • Apr 19 58th Boston Marathon won by Veikko Karvonen of Finland in 2:20:39

Boston Marathon

Apr 19 7-time winner of Boston Marathon, 65-year-old Clarence DeMar, runs his last race at Boston finishing 78th

  • Apr 20 "Golden Apple" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 125 performances

Historic Event

Apr 21 Georgi Malenkov becomes premier of USSR

  • Apr 21 USAF flies French battalion to Vietnam
  • Apr 22 Achiel van Acker forms Belgian government
  • Apr 22 NBA adopts 24-second shot clock & 6 team-foul rule
  • Apr 22 US Senate Army-McCarthy televised hearings begin
  • Apr 22 USSR joins UNESCO
  • Apr 23 Hammerin' Hank Aaron hits 1st of his 755 homers
  • Apr 24 1st American, civilian pilot, P.R. Holden, wounded in Indochina
  • Apr 24 Australia & USSR break diplomatic relations
  • Apr 24 WSEE TV channel 35 in Erie, PA (CBS) begins broadcasting

First Solar Battery

Apr 25 Bell labs announces the 1st solar battery made from silicon. It has about 6% efficiency.

  • Apr 25 British raid Nairobi, Kenya (25,000 Mau Mau suspects arrested)
  • Apr 25 US performs atmospheric nuclear test above Bikini Island
  • Apr 25 WDEF TV channel 12 in Chattanooga, TN (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 26 Far Eastern Affairs conference opens in Geneva

Polio

Apr 26 Mass trials of Jonas Salk's anti-polio vaccine begin; the first shot is delivered in Fairfax County, Virginia; more than 443,000 children receive shots over three months

Film Release

Apr 26 "Seven Samurai", Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshiro Mifune, is released

  • Apr 26 USSR Supreme Soviet transfer the Crimean oblast from Russian SFSR to Ukrainian SSR

Music Concert

Apr 30 Darius Milhaud's 4th Concert for piano and orchestra premieres in Haifa, Israel


Famous Birthdays

  • Apr 1 Jeff Porcaro, American drummer (Toto - "Rosanna"; "Africa"), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1992)
  • Apr 1 Susumu Hirasawa, Japanese electropop musician, born in Nakagawa, Adachi, Tokyo
  • Apr 1 Giancarlo Antognoni, Italian soccer midfielder (73 caps; Fiorentina 341 games), born in Marsciano, Italy
  • Apr 2 Ron Palillo, American actor (Arnold Horshack-Welcome Back Kotter), born in New Haven, Connecticut (d. 2012)
  • Apr 3 Elisabetta Brusa, Italian-British composer (Simply Largo), and educator, born in Milan, Italy
  • Apr 4 Julie Carmen, American actress (Gloria, Last Plane Out), born in Mount Vernon, New York
  • Apr 4 Michel Camilo, Dominican pianist (Rendezvous), born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Apr 5 Christopher S. Nelson, American actor (Sons & Daughters), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Apr 5 Michael W Butler, computer programmer (created TODAY program)
  • Apr 5 Stan Ridgway, American singer-songwriter (Wall Of Voodoo), born in Barstow, California
  • Apr 6 Judi Bowker, Shawford England, actress (Clash of the Titans)
  • Apr 7 Donna White, American golfer (US Open runner-up 1982), born in Kinston, North Carolina

Jackie Chan

Apr 7 Jackie Chan, Hong Kong martial arts actor (Rumble in the Bronx), born in Hong Kong

  • Apr 7 Tony Dorsett, American College and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back (Heisman Trophy 1976, U of Pittsburgh; Super Bowl 1977; Pro Bowl 1978, 81–83; Dallas Cowboys), born in Rochester, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 7 Clark Gillies, Canadian Hockey HOF left wing (Stanley Cup 1980, 81, 82, 83 New York Islanders; Buffalo Sabres), born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (d. 2022)
  • Apr 8 Gary Carter, American Baseball Hall of Fame catcher (11 × MLB All-Star; World Series 1986; Gold Glove Award 1980–82; Montreal Expos, NY Mets), born in Culver City, California (d. 2012)
  • Apr 8 G.V. Loganathan, American professor (d. 2007)
  • Apr 8 George Mesterhazy, Hungarian-American jazz pianist, and arranger, born in Hungary (d. 2012)
  • Apr 9 Dennis Quaid, American actor (Big Easy, Dreamscape, Right Stuff), born in Houston, Texas
  • Apr 9 Iain Duncan Smith, British politician, Leader of the Conservative Party (2001-03), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Apr 10 Peter MacNicol, actor (Chicago Hope, Sophie's Choice), born in Dallas, Texas
  • Apr 10 Lenny Pickett, American saxophonist and musical director (Saturday Night Live band, 1985-; Tower of Power, 1973-81), born in Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Apr 12 Marvin Johnson, American boxer (WBC Light heavyweight title 1978; WBA Light heavyweight title 1979-80, 86-87), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Apr 12 Pat Travers, Canadian rock guitarist (Puttin' it Straight), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Apr 13 Barbara Roche, British Labour Party politician
  • Apr 13 Jimmy Destri, American rock keyboardist, and songwriter (Blondie - "Heart of Glass"; "Rapture"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Apr 13 Niels Olsen, Danish singer and songwriter (The Olsen Brothers) won 2000 Eurovision Song Contest, born in Odense, Denmark
  • Apr 14 Bruce Sterling, American sci-fi author (Involution Ocean, Schismatrix)
  • Apr 14 Jon Herington, American session and touring jazz and rock guitarist (Steely Dan), born in Paterson, New Jersey
  • Apr 14 Shari Redstone, American media executive (ViacomCBS), born in Washington D.C.
  • Apr 16 Ellen Barkin, American actress (Big Easy, Sea of Love), born in The Bronx, New York
  • Apr 16 John Bowe, Australian racing driver, born in Devonport, Tasmania
  • Apr 17 Michael Sembello, American Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, composer and producer ("Maniac"; "Flashdance"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 17 Kim Tyler, American actor (Kyle-Please Don't Eat Daisies), born in Hollywood, California
  • Apr 17 Riccardo Patrese, Italian racing driver (Grand Prix), born in Padua, Italy
  • Apr 17 Roddy Piper, Canadian professional wrestler, born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (d. 2015)
  • Apr 19 Trevor Francis, British football player and manager, born in Plymouth, England
  • Apr 20 Peter Toohey, Australian cricket batsman (15 Tests, 1 x 100, 7 x 50, HS 122; NSW CA), born in Blayney, Australia
  • Apr 20 Gilles Lupien, French Canadian ice hockey player, born in Lachute, Canada
  • Apr 21 Dale Eggeling, American golfer (3 LPGA titles), born in Statesboro, Georgia
  • Apr 21 James Morrison [Paige], American actor (24, Twin Peaks), born in Bountiful, Utah
  • Apr 21 Ebiet G. Ade, Indonesian singer
  • Apr 22 Joseph Bottoms, American actor (Surfacing, Blind Date, Braker), born in Santa Barbara, California

Michael Moore

Apr 23 Michael Moore, American filmmaker (Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine, Sicko), born in Flint, Michigan

  • Apr 24 Captain Sensible [Ray Burns], English rock bassist (Women & Captains 1st), born in Balham, London
  • Apr 24 Jack Blades, American rock bassist (Damn Yankees - "Coming of Age"; Night Ranger), born in Palm Desert, California
  • Apr 24 Vince Ferragamo, American football quarterback (LA Rams, Montreal Alouettes), born in Torrance, California
  • Apr 24 Mumia Abu-Jamal, American journalist and political activist sentenced to death and then to life in prison, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 24 Thomas Jennefelt, Swedish composer, chiefly of choral works (A Warning To The Rich; Villarosa Sequences), born in Stuvsta, Sweden
  • Apr 25 Rob Crosby, American country singer ("She's a Natural"), born in Sumter, South Carolina
  • Apr 29 Shane Fontayne [Michael Barakan], British session and touring rock guitarist, and songwriter, born in London
  • Apr 29 Bill Paxon, American politician (Rep-R-New York 1989-99), born in Arkon, New York
  • Apr 29 Deborah Iyall, American artist and singer (Romeo Void), born in Soap Lake, Washington

Jerry Seinfeld

Apr 29 Jerome "Jerry" Seinfeld, American comedian and actor (Seinfeld, Bee Movie), born in Brooklyn, New York

  • Apr 29 Jake Burton Carpenter, American snowboarder
  • Apr 29 Masaaki Suzuki, Japanese organist, harpsichordist, and conductor (Bach Collegium Japan), born on Kobe, Japan
  • Apr 30 Gunther Tiersch, German DR, 8 man cox (Olympic gold 1968)

Jane Campion

Apr 30 Jane Campion, New Zealand film director (The Piano, The Power of the Dog), born in Wellington, New Zealand


Famous Deaths

  • Apr 2 Maud Barger-Wallach, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1908), dies at 83
  • Apr 2 Pudge Heffelfinger, American College Football Hall of Fame guard (3 x All American, Yale; first professional player 1892) and coach (Cal, Lehigh, Minnesota), dies at 86
  • Apr 5 Claude Delvincourt, composer, dies at 66
  • Apr 9 Philip Greeley Clapp, American composer and educator (University of Iowa, 1919-54), dies at 65
  • Apr 10 Auguste Lumière, French photograph and movie pioneer, dies at 81
  • Apr 10 Ludwig Curtius, German archaeologist (Die antike Kunst), dies at 79
  • Apr 10 Oscar Mathisen, Norwegian speed skater (5-time World Champion all-round), dies at 65
  • Apr 12 Pim [Willem JH] Mulier, Dutch journalist/sports-organizer, dies at 89
  • Apr 13 Angus Lewis Macdonald, Canadian politician, dies at 63
  • Apr 14 Lillian "Lil" Green, American blues singer and songwriter ("Romance In The Dark"), dies at 39 [or 57, or 48 - year of birth disputed]
  • Apr 15 Juan Vicente Lecuna, Venezuelan diplomat & composer, dies at 54
  • Apr 17 Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu, Romanian communist activist and sociologist, dies at 53
  • Apr 25 Joseph Hergesheimer, novelist (Java Head), dies
  • Apr 27 Torsten Ralf, Swedish operatic tenor (Daphne - "Apollo"), dies at 53
  • Apr 28 Léon Jouhaux, French socialist & co-founder UN's ILO (Nobel Peace Prize 1951), dies at 74
  • Apr 29 Ernst Heldring, Dutch ship owner and financier, dies at 82